Sihanoukville is a lazy sultry coastal city in Cambodia. It boasts several idyllic beaches and islands, and has grown to be a must-visit part of Cambodia. Sihanoukville is named after King Norodom Sihanouk, who is considered the father of the nation.
By day, you can go paddle-boarding, jet-skiing, banana-boating or snorkeling on one of the islands. You can get a cheap massage, pedicure, manicure or eyebrow threading session. There are lots of hawkers to buy different merchandise from. Just remember to bargain!
Sundowners can be enjoyed by the beach as you watch the boats come in for the night against a magical sunset. Sihanoukville comes alive at night; fireworks, lanterns and blaring music. It’s thrilling!
Food and drink are dirt cheap in Cambodia and for good quality too! When in Cambodia, you must have a Khmer/ Amok curry. An Angkor lager goes down so well in the ridiculously hot weather. My group and I had a barbeque (with Angkor beer to wash down of course!) on one of the islands and we were the only ones on it! It was so romantic. It’s a pity I left my camera on the mainland (I was scared of getting it wet).
THE BAD AND THE UGLY…
There is a lot of drug peddling, quite overtly. Stories of drugging are common, and sex trade and sex tourism is rampant, with no sign of any policing. I noticed many tourists with local ‘girlfriends’ and holding hands with little children. You can guess what conclusions I made about that.
Victoria Hill appeared to be the red light district with local sex workers cajoling Western men. I also noticed lots of the bars here employed Western bartenders who all seemed high to me.
Would you believe I had a stranger come up to me and give me a fat blunt of weed, his hotel card with his room number and telephone number! Hmph. I was more shocked than offended.
I enjoyed Sihanoukville. The sunsets were some of the most enchanting I’ve ever seen. The islands don’t get nearly as much appreciation as neighbouring Thailand, but they were beautiful. It really is a piece of paradise; social vices notwithstanding.